Homes of some "36 Christian families in Kandhamal District of Orissa were demolished on June 24," with bulldozers by authorities and local police, said Sajan George, national president of the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC), which represents several churches and mission groups.

The GCIC, he said it "is horrified by the inaction of the administration" adding that “human rights violation that takes place goes unnoticed." Local officials earlier said they tried to bring stability in the area after angry Hindu mobs torched 700 Christian homes nearly 100 churches, killing several people in Christmas season clashes in December.

However in published remarks, the local government said Christian families had agreed to the removal of their homes, after each homeowner was promised some 50,000 rupees (US$1,160) in compensation.


Talks were reportedly facilitated by a local peace committee, set up to restore religious harmony after the Australian missionary Graham Staines and his young two sons were killed a mob of Hindu extremists in Mayurbhanj district in 1999.

However the GCIC said the families had no where to go after a relief camp set up by the state government was apparently closed down March 31. They returned to their damaged homes, draping plastic sheets for protection against sun and more recently heavy rain, the GCIC said.

"The government makes announcements and tall claims, but the fact remains that the people of Kandhamal are still suffering the after-effects," added GCIC President George.


"Contrary to claims of the government that it had brought the situation under control within four days of the violence and relief as well as rehabilitation measures, the affected families continue to be a tormented."

The GCIC said it would continue to fight for proper accommodation and compensation for the Christians.

"These lands have been of Christians for 38 years and they were paying [taxes for the lands] to the government." There has been mounting concerns within churches that hard-line Hindu groups are pressuring authorities to crackdown on Christians, including many former Hindus who converted to Christianity.


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